“Love makes the world go ‘round,” but laughter keeps us from jumping off.

Humor is an indispensable part of our lives – at least for those of us who place a premium on maintaining our sanity. A sense of humor provides ballast, and sometimes even moorings. It helps us tolerate our problems, see the absurdity of things, and maintain perspective.

Even in our monthly publication, “Price & Farrington’s Estate and Tax Planning FastFacts”, we always include a cartoon or two, or curious quotes or some other whimsy. You can check out the sampling of humor in every piece we’ve written over the past eight years by clicking on the navigation bar at FastFaxts and scrolling through the complete list of titles in our archive. Every article can be read on line or, if you prefer, you can download selected articles and print them out in color or black and white. Who knows?—even if you’re interested mainly in the cartoons, you just might occasionally be drawn irresistibly (though accidentally, of course) to the article that accompanies it, actually read it, and learn something! Now there’s an example of humor leading to something good!

Death and Estate Planning

On estate planning and taking it with you…

A new business was opening and one of the owner’s friends wanted to send him flowers for the occasion. They arrived at the new business site and the owner read the card which said, “Rest in Peace”.

The friend who sent the flowers was furious. He called the florist to complain. He told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was.

The florist said, “Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake. But rather than getting angry, understand that a funeral is taking place where there are flowers with a note saying, “Congratulations on your new location.”

A man and his wife visit the doctor because the husband had been having some health problems.

After examining the man for over an hour, the doctor asked him to go sit in the waiting room. The doctor then calls the wife into his office. “I’m afraid he does not have long to live. If you do the following, however, you can keep him alive indefinitely: make him a nice breakfast and dinner every day; cater to his every desire and whim; do not upset him – let him watch the TV shows he wants and put his needs first.”In the car, the husband turns to his wife and asks, “What did the doctor say?”

The wife responds. “You’re going to die.”

I was helping a couple with their estate planning and they started to have this discussion…

The husband turns to his wife and asks if she would want to continue to live in their house if he dies. She said that she wanted to stay there forever. So, he asked her, if she were to get remarried, would her new husband also live in the house?

She replied that if she did get remarried, her new husband would live there, too.

So he asked about his car, his prized Corvette…would she let him drive the car?

She said that if he needed to drive the car, he could drive it.

Taken aback by the way the conversation was going, the husband prepared himself to ask her the really big question: what about his golf clubs? She wouldn’t let him use those, would she?

She said, “No! Absolutely not “He’s left-handed!”

I asked my son what he would like for Christmas.

He replied, “Power of Attorney.”

Definition of perfect estate planning: You want your last check to bounce.

Procrastination has cost me great,
It only leads to sorrow,
It’s a terrible habit I must break,
Perhaps I’ll start tomorrow.

We recently asked a colleague of ours who is a stockbroker how the market was doing. Here’s what he told us:

Helium is up and feathers are down. Paper remains stationary. Fluorescent tubing shares have dimmed in light trading. Knives are up sharply. Cows continue to steer into a bull market. Pencils are losing a few points.

The hiking equipment sector is trailing. Escalators are rising, while elevators continue their slow decline. Barbells are up in heavy trading. Light switches are off and shares of arrows are on target. Mining equipment is hitting rock bottom.

Diapers remain unchanged and shipping lines are staying at an even keel. The market for raisins is drying up and Pepsi Cola is fizzling. Toilets might tank and Caterpillar stock is inching up a bit.

Sun reached his peak at midday and balloon prices remain inflated. Scott Tissue continues to touch new bottoms and batteries are exploding in attempts to recharge the new market.

When speaking about estate planning and charitable giving comes up…

Two friends are marooned on an island after their boat is marooned during a storm.

The first man is frantic, he is ranting on the beach, “Oh, no, they’ll never find us, we’re DOOMED!”

His friend is swimming around calmly in the blue waters enjoying himself.

“How can you be so calm? We are going to die!”

The calm friend responds, “I earned $50,000 my first year in business and gave 10% to charity. I earned $200,000 the next year and gave 10% to charity. This year, I made $500,000 and haven’t given yet. They’ll find us!”

A young kid of six or seven had listened intently to the conversation at the diner table with his visiting grandmother as the guest of honor. He could wait no longer to ask her. He interrupted, “Grandma, can you make a sound like frog?”

She looked at him astonished and said, “I don’t think I can, but I’ll try. Why?” she asked, confused.

He replied, “Because Dad said that when you croak, we get $50,000.”

A wealthy 86-year-old man, about to die, calls in his three trusted advisors: his CPA, attorney and priest.

He tells them, “I’ve decided I’m going to take my money with me. I’ve liquidated my estate and placed $10 million in each of these three envelopes. Here’s one for each of you and I ask that you each place the envelope in the casket at my funeral.”

At the funeral, they each toss the envelope into the casket. Later, the CPA turns to the priest and says, “Did you really toss the $10 million in the casket?”

“No, I did not. That money can do so much good; I took it for the church and tossed in an empty envelope. I can’t see how God can be angry with me.”

The CPA says, “To tell the truth, I was having some business problems. I took out $200,000 to pay off some debts and get myself out of hot water.”

“I can’t believe you guys,” said the astonished attorney. “Mr. Smith trusted us his whole life, more than he trusted his family, and you guys can’t even honor his last wish?”

“Did you throw in the $10 million?” the CPA asks the attorney.

“You’re darn right! The envelope contained my personal check!”

(When retelling this one, feel free to substitute some other professional for the attorney slot!)

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